Title: Devil's Candy Vol. 1
Author: Rem, Bikkuri
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Publisher: VIZ Media
Devil’s Candy is a Viz Originals series that started as a webcomic. It’s written by Bikkuri and illustrated by Rem, and uses western orientation. Both have previously worked with series adaptations, and Rem was also the lead artist for the game River City Girls. In addition, the duo won a grand prize by Kodansha with their short story Kage no Matsuri and made a one-shot called Folie À Deux for Shounen Jump Plus.
Devil’s Candy Vol. 1 tells the story of a young imp boy called Kazu. As a science project for school, he decides to make a devil girl out of a bunch of dead meat. Kazu names her Pandora and brings her to school, but this is just the beginning of a hectic school story. Pandora will be Kazu’s responsibility, and classes in Hemlock Heart Academy are a real mess. Along with Kazu’s friends, Nemo and Hitomi, the two will have to deal with various situations arising from the institution. Explosions, weird phenomena, potentially deadly conflicts between cliques, etc.
As far as the first volume goes, there isn’t a specific end goal for the characters. This openness might be a negative aspect for some readers, but this “devil school story” manages to offer some good over-the-top action and comedy. It reminds me a little of Studio Trigger’s works with really elaborate scenes. Characters have round, cartoonish appearances that really stick out, making the main characters easy to differentiate from the crowd. Another interesting aspect is that many of the panels are filled with movement. Even smaller scenes are very dynamic because of the details, but the action can be a little hard to follow sometimes.
On the character side, it has some nice choices. First of all, for an action-packed series, it’s interesting that Kazu is weak and has to depend on his friends during the volume. It’d be interesting to see his brainy side being used better for this in the next chapters. The volume also teases some revelations about his backstory. His friend Nemo is also more on the brainy side, tinkering with machines and whatnot. But he’s also good at dealing with action things, usually helping Kazu when necessary. The two feel like great friends because of their small interactions along the way.
Pandora is a brutish girl who seems to still be learning about the world around her. It’s interesting to see how she grows over the volume, with an extra story at the end that helps see her curious side. Having been born not so long ago, it makes sense that she’s going through this learning arc and even using TV shows as life references sometimes.
I’d say the most curious one was Hitomi, though. She’s a cyclops girl who’s particularly fond of fashion. She’s naturally way too strong, which is an aspect she doesn’t like of herself. However, this is helpful through the volume, and she’d do anything to make her crush, Kazu, happy. There are many other characters, and it could be argued they are somewhat stereotypical. However, the story makes good use of them with its fun, hectic and vibrant story. Devil’s Candy Vol. 1 is a nice comedy/action story focused on young devils going to school. It stands out with its over-the-top situations and Trigger-like style, making it a promising start for the series.
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